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If I completed BOLC before school, when will I go active duty?

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The Dentisto

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ARMY

I completed my BOLC course before I started school 3 years ago. My question is when will I officially go active duty and have to report to my first duty station after graduation? I assumed that it would be in June of graduation year, but I recently heard that I still wouldn't be active until August like everyone else. So basically I'll have 3 months of no work, no pay, but plenty of time. Is this correct? I also need to know because I need to figure out how long to extend my lease on my current apartment, ha.
 

AirborneDentist

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Talk with HRC. Typically, you can report asap after graduating from dental school. If you want to take some time off, it will be without pay, as you mentioned. However, this will be some of the only free time off you will get in your whole career, so some people take advantage of it.
 

Rlow04

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The other thing that's useful is that you can report up to 30 days early, so our report date was July 1st and we showed up June 5, a week after graduation. We had a newborn and no desire/funds to go travel. We got here, got insurance and got paid as soon as possible.

Also try and have your dental license ready before you move so when you show up you can sign your dental contract, get your dental pay and start the clock on your commitment. Those guys who do BOLC after graduation can't sign that contract until after they get to their first duty station in August, so their obligation to the Army will be done 4 years (assuming 4yr HPSP) from that day in August that they signed.

Since you've already done BOLC, if you can show up and sign your bonus contract in June/July then you'll be a month or two ahead of everyone else on your contract. If you're staying in the Army that means your multi-year retention bonus also would start a month or two earlier. Not a big deal, but something to consider.
 
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The Dentisto

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Thank you very much for your responses.

Is July 1st generally the earliest report date I could be given? And is it actually going to be up to me, or is there a chance that I could be given orders to report June 1st if I plan all along for July 1st? (Just asking to figure out how long to renew my lease for)

Or let me ask it this way: If I so desire, could I get orders to report June 1st? Looking at it now, I think 3 weeks off in May will be plenty of time off. Or is July 1st the earliest? And when do I tell somebody this?
 
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armydent16

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you'll work with the HRC officer. He was helpful in determining that date
 

ArmyOralSurgery

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During your senior year you will be contacted by an HRC officer who will ask for some information about what you will be doing after graduation (BOLC, residency, snow-birding, or starting to work right away). Having completed BOLC already you will be a top priority for HRC to cut your orders, but even still don't worry if you don't have them in hand until a few weeks before graduation (it's incredibly stressful, but completely out of your hands). Luckily, HRC can be very flexible/accommodating so you can ask for a specific report date and most likely you will get what you ask for - take a couple months off if you need a vacation, or start working right away if you want to get paid and start chipping away at your ADSO.

I completed BOLC before school as well and I took 2 weeks between graduating and reporting (you could technically request just 1 week if you wanted, but I would recommend taking at least 2 so that your move can be a bit easier). Here is the kicker though: coming straight from school to your duty station, you most likely will have picked out a place to live so your DENTAC HQ may not give you any permissive TDY when you sign into post (standard is a week or so of essentially free leave to get your housing sorted). You could always have your stuff packed up at school and shipped into storage at your new duty station and go house hunting when you sign into post to get that free permissive TDY, but that extra stress didn't really make the permissive TDY worth it to me (I wrongly assumed I would just be given some free time off to get settled but since I got housing myself a couple days before reporting that was denied).

Here was my timeline just to give you an idea: graduate Sunday 22MAY, movers come and pick up my stuff the following Thursday 26MAY, I start my two-day drive to my duty station 31MAY and arrive to move in 1JUN, my stuff is delivered Saturday 4JUN, and I report to post Monday 6JUN to sign in and start getting paid as an active duty CPT. It takes about a week to inprocess the installation and a couple weeks to onboard the DENTAC (get credentialed, get privileges, and start working). Make sure you are in a position to get your dental license immediately after graduation - you cannot sign your 63A contract as a general dentist without it and don't get paid your $20k bonus split over the year until you initiate the credentialing process which requires that license - for me that meant getting paid as an active duty CPT starting 6JUN and signing my contract around 14JUN to start receiving the dental bonus (I had everything ready to go the day I signed into post so I really can't see being able to sign your contract any sooner than that).

Best of luck starting your career - remember that things will go slow unless your are proactive and push to get things done yourself, be nice to everyone you deal with but getting from dental school to active duty requires that you take an active role in the process.
 
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ALTOSS

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I too finished BOLC before dental school. It was arguably the best decision I'd made in the Army. I got authorized 60 day early reporting, got to my first duty station in mid-May, started working in early June. Starting early has many advantages - you get paid sooner, promoted faster, get a pay raise sooner, and if you want to later, you can get out sooner. You will be inprocessing, moving, etc, you probably won't see a patient for at least a month any way. I did have my work checked by anther general dentist while I was waiting for my license, however, but it was no big deal (just like dental school). Note, however, you don't get the extra 20k a year bonus for being a dentist until you get your license - so I did not get the bonus for a month ($1666.66), but again, no big deal. If you want, find out which states issue licenses faster (like UT or CT).
 
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AirborneDentist

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Thank you very much for your responses.

Is July 1st generally the earliest report date I could be given? And is it actually going to be up to me, or is there a chance that I could be given orders to report June 1st if I plan all along for July 1st? (Just asking to figure out how long to renew my lease for)

Or let me ask it this way: If I so desire, could I get orders to report June 1st? Looking at it now, I think 3 weeks off in May will be plenty of time off. Or is July 1st the earliest? And when do I tell somebody this?
You will probably get a July 1st date with early reporting authorized, which means you could arrive any time before July 1st, so it will be up to you. You don't have to report on the 1st of the month, you could report any day.
 

DentalArmy

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I finally decided to join after scouring this military forum for a while. I'm a D2 on the 4 year scholarship and I'm looking to do BOLC this Summer or next if school administration approves it, which they say is likely. We are scheduled to graduate mid-April, and I would like to report ASAP after graduating since I have 3 kids and little money. Is it possible to report as early as late April or May 1st?

Also, after reading ZD26's post it appears that HRC contacts us our senior year and those who have done BOLC have top priority for HRC to cut their orders. Does that mean that those who have done BOLC, and aren't chosen for an AEGD slot, can have more sway in their location compared to other HPSPers who haven't completed it? Obviously those with more seniority will have first dibs, but just comparing those entering as 63A. Also, does being a stud in the PFT at BOLC have any benefit?
 

CougarDental

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We are scheduled to graduate mid-April, and I would like to report ASAP after graduating since I have 3 kids and little money. Is it possible to report as early as late April or May 1st?
--- I did BOLC before school and HRC basically asked me the exact date I wanted to show up. I game myself a month off after graduation and then reported to my AEGD location a month earlier than everyone at BOLC.
Does that mean that those who have done BOLC, and aren't chosen for an AEGD slot, can have more sway in their location compared to other HPSPers who haven't completed it?
--- I'd be surprised if it made a difference. The Army doesn't really care if you can start AD earlier or not.
Does being a stud in the PFT at BOLC have any benefit?
--- No tangible benefit other than a day or two of extra leave.
 
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